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NorthWestern Energy customers to see slight increase to monthly electric bills beginning January 1

A close up of an energy rate case
Kayla Desroches
Yellowstone Public Radio
A close up of an energy rate case

Fees for NorthWestern Energy's electric customers in Montana will rise in the new year due to a recent regulatory adjustment that allows the utility to recover unplanned annual spending.

The adjustment itself is standard practice, but the amount households will pay will be higher than it was a couple of months ago.

That’s because of a calculation based on a recent rate case where regulators on the Montana Public Service Commission approved an increase to customers’ electricity fees.

As part of that regulatory process, the average residential customer is already looking at electric bills that are 28 percent higher than they were more than a year ago.

According to staff at the meeting where commissioners passed the adjustment for unplanned costs, the uptick amounts to a 42 cent monthly increase to the typical home’s electric bill starting January 1.